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25th Hour - Movie Review

The aftermath of 9-11 has left a bitter taste in the mouth of New Yorkers. In 25th Hour, director Spike Lee attempts to subdue cultural finger pointing of who is to blame for the tragedy and deliver a message to the audience that the Big Apple was built by and is built on different races, cultures, and religions.

Lee subtly conveys this message throughout the film by showing the hard workmanship of the many faces that inhabit New York. The most notable moment in which Lee discusses this cultural animosity is when Monty Brogan (Edward Norton) is standing in front of a bathroom mirror and launches into a blame-seeking vitriolic diatribe that insults every possible class and ethnicity in the city. Brogan then stops his rant in mid-sentence and realizes that he is the only one to blame for his self-inflicted precarious situation. Lee is suggesting that we should stop blaming everyone else for our problems and re-evaluate ourselves…hint to the US.

The premise of the film is the last hours of heroin dealer Monty Brogan's (Edward Norton) life before he goes to prison after being convicted for possession of heroin. On his last day of freedom he will try to strengthen his relationship with his father (Brian Cox), reassure his fidelity to the heavyweight drug kingpin for whom he worked, discover who sold him out, and reunite with his old high school friends for one last late-night party.

The opening scene of the 25th Hour displays the grit and attitude of the Manhattan outskirts where Monty Brogan, played by Edward Norton, is going to set up a heroin drug deal but before doing so he discovers and rescues a beaten up dog. Brogan believes this canine rescue was the only good deed that he had ever done, however, he fails to realize the many lives he has touched and changed for the better, even in his last 24 hours.

The tension between Brogan and his live-in girlfriend who he believes reported him to the cops is brilliantly delivered. Both of his old friends Jacob (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Slaughtery (Barry Pepper) execute their aggressive crime-doesn't-pay attitudes to perfection, especially when mingled with their guilty feelings for not stopping Brogan from becoming a dealer. For actor Barry Pepper this role is a step-up from his previous experience as a boy band member in a group named "Band in the U.K."

The great thing about Lee and Norton is that they have this fantastic ability to involve themselves in movies that have non-formulaic Hollywood plots, themes, and characters, all the while reaping the benefits of their Hollywood-sized budget and it's marketing prowess. By combining Norton and Lee you get a phenomenal film that will inspire many moviegoers to realize that it is time Hollywood reverts to originality and substance, traits that have been lost in the largest entertainment industry in the world.

Having mentioned the fantastic abilities of Norton and Lee one cannot be completely autonomous from their benefactor, there are still glimpses of Hollywoodism where heroines are staggeringly beautiful, cliché one-liners, in your face patriotism, and sappy endings (even though it was suggestive).

Archived Articles :: [ALL archived articles here]
St-Patricks Day
The birth and death of theme parties
Kick start 2005 in style :: a New Years Eve guide
Gogo ads to ringtones, the craze is on
Why I will really miss the Expos
The Right to Come and Go
Little Dicks
Bathroom Shakedown
Gay Till Proven Straight
Orange Day
MiMi…ME! ME!
The Camel Goes South To North
Letter From China
Why The World Is A Better Place With German Women
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Germans
When Needs Exceed Wants New Years Eve Party Guide
A Dark Hall Illuminated by Voice
Japan, The Alien Planet
Smoking is No Longer a Vice in the Modern World
West Eats East
Lee and Norton Give Hollywood a Black Eye
Designer Collections
Montreal Events in August
Virtual Encounter
Le Grand Prix Air Canada (The Big Prize)
May Culture
Summer Oasis
Montreal Promoters - Malik Shaheed
Montreal Festivals